New Jersey Forest and Farmland To Be Preserved Under EPA Settlement with Home Builder (NJ)
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the homebuilder
D.R. Horton, LLC for violations of federal regulations that protect
against pollution from stormwater runoff. Under the agreement, D.R.
Horton will pay a $99,000 penalty. The company will also pay
$104,420 to The Land Conservancy of New Jersey to partially fund a
212-acre land acquisition and preservation project in Mount Olive,
N.J. The land is undeveloped forest and farmland near the Raritan
River that provides more than 1 million New Jersey residents with
clean drinking water.
The land acquisition and preservation project contained in the settlement with D.R. Horton is an environmentally-beneficial project that a violator voluntarily agrees to undertake in partial settlement of violations. It must be a project that a violator would not otherwise be required to perform.
“Clean water is a vital natural resource and it is crucial that we reduce the pollution reaching our lakes, rivers and streams to protect people’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Soil and pollutants carried by uncontrolled stormwater runoff can seriously damage our waterways. The settlement with D.R. Horton will reduce stormwater runoff and ensure that farm and forest will be preserved for future generations.”
Under the federal Clean Water Act, developers of sites one acre or larger are required to implement stormwater pollution prevention plans to keep soil and contaminants from running off into nearby waterways. The rate at which water carries soil and contaminants off of construction sites is typically 10 to 20 times greater than that from agricultural lands, and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forested lands.
EPA inspected D.R. Horton’s Grande at Hanover construction site in Whippany, N.J. in October 2009 and discovered that the company had lacked the necessary stormwater discharge permits for the site since 2005. Stormwater ran off the Hanover site and into the Whippany River, possibly polluting the river. EPA also inspected D.R. Horton’s Grande at Springville construction site in Mount Laurel, N.J. in October 2009 and found that the company had failed to obtain a permit for the site, perform required inspections of the site for eight months and submit environmental compliance reports and certifications from 2005 to 2008. As a result of EPA’s inspections, the company improved its management of stormwater at the Hanover site, and both sites were brought into compliance with stormwater management regulations.
Establishing and adhering to stormwater pollution prevention plans at construction sites is required by the federal Clean Water Act. Routine inspections ensure that companies are properly managing stormwater runoff and are fully implementing their stormwater pollution prevention plans.
For more information about requirements of the Clean Water Act and how EPA protects the nation’s water, visit http://www.water.epa.gov/.
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